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May 16th, 2013 (8:05 AM). Edited May 16th, 2013 by dudebot.
Well, here's the prologue to a novella I just finished, Cower. The whole book needs to be reworked, but I still think that this is pretty solid.
By the way, it gets a bit murky . . . and dark. Quite literally and figuratively.
Dovecot, it’s a city of false imagery and broken promises. Not too long ago, the name of it used to mean something. People held high hopes entering a land full of intellectual promise. They’d think to themselves, “this is a nice slice of the world” as they found things to be much more trustworthy than they actually were. The city was made with trust in mind. It was made to be a nice place. Unfortunately, things aren’t always what they were made out to be. And over the course of a few years, people soon found that much out about Dovecot.
The truth behind the city was that it was a cesspool of evil intent and inexcusable crimes. Days went on where people would find their house emptied after a night out. Not a single thing was left. Citizens started losing that trust really fast. Soon, it got to the point where going outside at night was taboo, forbidden by those unable to risk the chance of losing anything. The streets remained clear for a time, but it didn’t stop things from happening the way they did. Murderers, thieves, aggressors, they increased in numbers. It seemed like anyone who took a step outside during the night was bound to come across adversity. After a while, having nightlife meant being a risky person or being a criminal.
For Johnny, it was the latter. He considered himself professional. He’d poach his targets for a while. Noting whenever they’d leave their house, he’d make his move. Over the last few months, he’d been getting exceedingly better at it. He could tell when a person was leaving for a night out or when they were just making a store trip. At times, he’d drive behind them to make sure they drove far enough. When they did, he would make a left and return to their building.
He used to have a team, but they got greedy. The months of free money would do that to anyone. He decided that he had the resources need to carry out things by his self. Whatever he couldn’t carry out on his own, he’d leave behind. Luckily for Johnny, that wasn’t much. Maybe there was a dresser or a refrigerator he couldn’t take, but there were always the clothes and the food. His truck held most stuff with room to spare. Check it into a locker the next day, sell what you could, then repeat the process. Things were easy enough for him to make a living. And living was never better.
The problem that the city had was also its biggest export: Intellect. Dovecot was a cesspool of ingenuity and thought. Unfortunately, criminals were getting smarter as well. Johnny had plenty of intellect. If it weren’t for the difficulties of the hiring process, Johnny often thought he could make it big in big in the industrial world. He always kept track of time, he was prompt in his movements and he never bit off more than he could chew. Yes, it seemed like Johnny would never get his come-upping. However, the thing about crime, it never promises anything. That’s why people would tell you it’s not a promising career. That probably explains why he’s hanging by legs over a nice, mahogany table. He knows mahogany; he’s taken his fair share of it.
How he got there was a more painful question than the sore spot on the back of his head. As the blur left his vision, he started to recognize where he was. It was his storage locker. The mahogany table was his. Well, it was one that he stole, per say. No more than inches above the table, he tried to move his hands. Something cold and hard had been restricting them, he could only guess chains. He tried wiggling for his freedom, not seeing the futility in it. Suddenly, he heard a noise. The silence after the sound froze his cold heart. Tears began to streak across his forehead before touching his hair. He cried out to his captor, his voice apologetic.
“Hello? Anyone? Please, let me down! Please!”
He screamed out from the top of his lungs. He couldn’t see anyone beyond 3 feet of himself due to the light he was hanging under. Darkness surrounded him. It frightened him. It made him cringe. Before, it was his friend, helping him creep through the houses undetected. Now it became an audience, surrounding him, waiting for the climax of his night. For a moment, all was quiet. The darkness was still. Then, a man walked out from the shadows. Johnny was glad he saw opportunity once he realized the man wasn’t wearing a uniform. Not a lot of people would side with the police at this time.
Things went wrong, however, when he noticed the right hand of the man clenching a kitchen knife. Suddenly, his tears flowed on double time. He preferred the police in this moment. Anyone would. Though he hoped that it was all a misunderstanding, looking into the eyes of his captor, he saw clarity unlike any other. It was surety. Whatever that man came to do, he had no doubt in it. Words began to escape the sturdy face he’d given.
“You’re probably wondering, ‘How did I get here?’ You ask yourself, ‘What did I do to get here?’ But that’s not the problem you should be worrying about. What you should be worrying about is getting back on your feet.”
Johnny was scared stiff. The man spoke like some sort of narrator, but everything he said sounded like some philosophical garbage.
“Please, man, just let me down. I’ll give you whatever you want. I have televisions, dressers, coffee makers, money, whatever you need. Please just let me down.” Johnny’s words were barely audible at the end. It was mostly replaced by a mixture of words and whimpering. Tears began to drip from his hair to the table.
The man looked at Johnny eye to eye after hearing his heartfelt words. He gave off a fiendish smirk. With a chuckle, he continued his speech.
“Sometimes, you find it hard to maintain. You’re upside-down and you can feel the pressure on your brain. You’re strung up and you need to get down. So, what do you do?” His stern voice heightened Johnny’s fears.
He walked closer to Johnny, coming within a reachable distance.
“Well, what you need to do it hold your back straight and get cracking,” he said as he put his hand on the back of his captive. “And what if that doesn’t work?”
He steadied the swinging Johnny with his hand, bringing the other hand and the knife in it to Johnny’s stomach.
“Well, that means the weight is too much and you need to put it all on the table.”
The knife plunged into the bottom Johnny’s abdomen as the cut was made towards his head, stopping short of his rib cage. Johnny’s screams were ignored as the man reached into his body, forcibly pulling his organs until they would fall to the table. Soon, he couldn’t hear Johnny’s screams anymore. And that’s where he stopped. Blood spilled onto the table along with the parts pulled from Johnny’s body.
The man stood for a moment and admired his work. The look on Johnny’s face was exactly what he wanted from it all. The sheer displeasure as tears forced themselves from his red, puffy eyes was pleasing. The agony of having his body scooped out, picked fresh like a vegetable, it satisfied the mysterious man. The blood from his cavity began to cover his face as it fell on the mahogany. The crimson mask preserved the last look of horror from the Johnny.
He took two fingers and dipped them into the pool of blood. He began writing numbers on the wall, dipping a second time to make sure the numbers were clearly legible. After making an underline with the leftover blood on his fingers, he began walking towards the exit of the locker before speaking his final words.
“And after you do all of that, I assure you, you’ll feel so much better than you did before. Hey, nothing feels better than relieving yourself of dead weight.”
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